The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C.

Thomas Wojno was appointed to the newly created position of senior vice president of innovation and member advancement, responsible for identifying and implementing innovative strategies to enhance IDFA services, expand its diverse membership and develop new opportunities for growth. Prior to joining IDFA, Wojno served as vice president of member value and strategy for the National Restaurant Association, where he built a data-driven membership organization focused on member experience and sales development. Wojno also transformed the association's member business model, creating a seamless "Join One, Join All" approach to membership, leveraging the NRA's network of 50-state affiliates to serve and support the entire industry. Under his leadership, NRA's grew new membership 300% and increased retention from 83% to 94%. Wojno also served as vice president of resource development for America's Promise, and held leadership roles within multiple initiatives at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Wojno began his career in business development at Bloomberg LP.

Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. (MHEFI), Charlotte, N.C.
Brian Neuwirth
, president of UNEX Manufacturing, Inc., was elected to serve as vice president of the board of directors, beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Produce Marketing Association (PMA), Newark, Del.
Lisa Cork,
global fresh produce specialist of Fresh Produce Marketing Ltd., joined the board of directors. Cork maintains more than 30 years in fresh produce. Most recently, she was a member of PMA’s Global Development Committee and Demand Creation Strategic PlanningTask Force. And, during her tenure at Apio Inc., she created the Eat Smart brand, which recently announced a 100% clean label initiative. Additionally, she led the branding of Winter Sweetz grapefruit by Lone Star Citrus and Naturalls grapes by Borderland Organics.

National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Washington, D.C.
Dr. Jill McCluskey, past president of Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA), was named to the board on Agriculture and Natural Resources. McCluskey, who served as AAEA president in 2015 and 2016, is a distinguished professor of sustainability and associate director of the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University, where she has focused on industrial organization, consumer preferences and environmental quality, all while promoting the importance of opportunities for women in the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Global Dairy Platform (GDP), Rosemont, Ill.
Fonterra CEO, Theo Spierings, was elected chairman, effective Nov. 16, succeeding Rick Smith, chief executive officer of Dairy Farmers of America, who has chaired the organization since 2015. Spierings has been a director on the GDP board since 2012.


Seald Sweet International, Vero Beach, Fla.

Industry veteran Kelly Dietz joined as vice president of business development, effective Oct. 17, with a focus on growth of the company’s fresh produce sales and marketing programs. Dietz maintains over 25 years of experience in the produce industry. During her career, Dietz has become well-established in domestic and imported produce programs, with a focus on key retail, foodservice and wholesale account development.

SUPERVALU INC., Minneapolis
Anne Dament was promoted to executive vice president, retail, marketing and private brands, effective immediately. Dament joined SUPERVALU in January, and has made significant contributions, including developing a strong plan and implementation strategy to improve the company’s retail division, reorganizing multiple retail merchandise groups, consolidating wholesale and retail marketing efforts and driving new product introductions. With respect to new products, she has brought new ideas and direction to SUPERVALU’s portfolio, including launching over 350 new private label items this year, and developed other innovative solutions, such as SUPERVALU’s recent launch of its national Quick & Easy meal solution program. Also, Stuart McFarland was appointed executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, succeeding Karla Robertson, who is resigning, effective Nov. 17, to join Pentair plc. McFarland has worked at SUPERVALU since 2010 in positions of increasing responsibility, and currently serves as vice president, associate general counsel and assistant corporate secretary focusing on corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, securities and corporate governance. Prior to joining SUPERVALU, McFarland was an associate at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Amy's Kitchen, Petaluma, Calif.
Xavier Unkovic was named global president. A former executive of Mars Inc., Unkovic brings a deep understanding of how to grow a values-driven business.

Daily’s Premium Meats, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Jeff Handrich was named next president, effective Dec. 6. The 30-plus-year food industry veteran will be charged with leading the processed meats company and growing its foodservice, retail and international business. Since 2015, he’s been vice president of emerging markets, domestic and international for Butterball LLC, where he developed and executed strategic growth plans for the company’s domestic and international markets. Prior to that, he led Butterball’s national account foodservice sales for 8 years as vice president, and held similar positions with ConAgra, Pinahs Co. Inc. and Kraft/Oscar Mayer. Handrich started his food industry career as a foodservice sales representative with Kraft Foods.

FrieslandCampina N.V., The Netherlands
Jaska de Bakker was appointed chief financial officer, effective Jan. 1, 2018, succeeding Hein Schumacher, who was appointed chief executive officer, also effective Jan. 1, 2018. de Bakker has worked at FrieslandCampina as director finance of the consumer products Asia group in Singapore since Jan. 1. Previously, she was also chief financial officer of Royal HaskoningDHV, fulfilled various business development and financial positions at LEAF/CSM and was a strategy consultant, among positions, at The Boston Consulting Group.

BrightFarms, New York
Erik Lallum was hired as vice president of design, construction and facilities, responsible for leading all greenhouse development, including real estate, design, engineering and construction. Lallum has been in the construction industry for 20 years, focusing on project and construction management. Previously, he spent 13 years with Avangrid Renewables, with the last six of those years, serving as vice president of engineering and construction services. Along with project and construction management, Lallum also maintains expertise in engineering management, project development, process improvement and team leadership. 

Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark.
Dean Banks was elected to the board of directors and will serve on its Governance and Nominating Committee and Strategy and Acquisitions Committee, effective Nov. 15. Banks maintains experience as an entrepreneur, investor and leader in a variety of technology-related businesses. Since 2016, he has been a project lead and a leadership team member for X (formerly known as Google [x]). Aside from his responsibilities at X, Banks serves on the board of Vergent Bioscience, and was previously managing partner of SEED Ventures. He also has served as a consultant to Cleveland Clinic Innovations, was chief executive officer of Occelerator, senior vice president of business development and strategic marketing at OrthoHelix (acquired by Tornier, Inc.), was co-founder and CEO of Connective Orthopaedics and was a vice president at Highland Capital Partners. Banks was also a former platoon sergeant and squad leader in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Publix, Lakeland, Fla.
Randy Barber will be promoted to vice president of industrial maintenance and purchasing, responsible for industrial maintenance, facilities purchasing and manufacturing supply purchasing. He is currently director of industrial maintenance. Moving from Publix’s grocery team, Pete Mowitt, currently vice president of product business development for grocery and non-foods, will lead the bakery and meat retail business units (RBUs) as vice president of product business development for bakery and meat and will oversee Publix’s store dairy and frozen business areas as well as space management areas. Chris Litz will continue to lead Publix’s efforts in the deli, produce and meals RBUs as vice president of product business development for deli and produce. Brad Oliver will be promoted to vice president of product business development for dry grocery and non-foods, responsible for overseeing and supporting the dry grocery and non-foods corporate purchasing category management teams. He is currently business development director of direct-store delivery products.


Famous Dave's of America, Inc., Minneapolis
Jeffery Crivello was appointed chief executive officer, effective Nov. 17. Crivello has served on the board of directors since August, and since January 2015, has served as chief financial officer of PW Partners Capital Management, LLC, where he was primarily responsible for operations and accounting.  Additionally, the company appointed former chief development and franchising officer, Geovannie Concepcion, as chief operating officer, effective Nov. 14.


Welbilt, Inc., New Port Richey, Fla.

Andreas Weishaar was named senior vice president, strategy, marketing and digital, assuming additional responsibility for digital and IT. He joined Welbilt in February 2016 as senior vice president strategy, marketing and human resources, and has led the development of Welbilt’s long-term strategy, the design and implementation of the new product line organization and operating model, the company’s rebranding as well as the repositioning of human resources as a business partner. Meanwhile, Diana Sacchi joins as chief human resources officer, taking over the responsibility for the function previously held by Weishaar. Sacchi most recently served as vice president, human resources North America for LG Electronics USA. Prior to LG, she held a variety of human resources leadership roles with Grameen America, Inc., Avon Products, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and the United Nations Development Program.

MH Equipment, St. Louis, Mo.
Isaac Yates was named regional sales manager, responsible for sales team leadership and driving revenue at the company’s St. Louis and Scott City, Mo., locations. Yates maintains more than 40 years of experience in various leadership roles, most recently at Fairchild Equipment, where he served as president over the West division. He has also held executive positions at a number of companies such as Iveco Trucks of North America, Yale Materials Handling, Nordictrack, Jostens, New Standard Corp. and Rihm Kenworth.

Krone Trailers, UK
Allan McKee was appointed new area sales manager, responsible for maintaining existing accounts and generating new business in the Northern Home Counties and parts of the South Midlands, as well as all of South East and South West England. He brings a wealth of industry experience gained from a number of senior roles in both the tractor and trailer supply sectors. Previously, he was an area sales manager at Scania, and progressed through the ranks to become a director for a group in haulage, storage, truck rental and supply. He also maintained a strong nationwide contract maintenance operation, and later developed a trailer export business before returning to work in trailer sales and cryogenic refrigeration.

Smartcool, Canada
Julian Sylvester
was named business development manager. Sylvester is an experienced sales executive who maintains an extensive background within the energy efficiency market. For the past 10 years, he has been business development manager for Sabien Technology Ltd., responsible for introducing and delivering energy efficiency solutions for large multi-site businesses and key accounts.

Transwide and Teleroute, Belgium
Allison Searle was appointed chief commercial officer, responsible for scaling up the global sales team and overseeing the commercial activities of the company’s transport management software and freight exchanges. Searle maintains over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing of software solutions. Previously, was global senior vice president at Mercator, where she led the sales, development and execution of its global sales strategy. She has also worked for Infor, Adobe and Consona Software, and has spent over two decades working with global software companies in both North America and Europe, managing global account teams, partner sales and telesales across multiple verticals, including telecoms, banking and logistics.




Jeff Thomson, founder of Thomson International Inc., Bakersfield, Calif., passed away Oct. 10. 

Thomson was a fifth-generation California farmer, and his career in agribusiness spanned over 40 years, starting with being a pioneer in the G=garlic Industry in the 1970s.

In the early 2000s, he, along with his children, Karen and Jack, transitioned the farming and sales focus of Thomson International to other commodities, including watermelons, onions and bell peppers. He was head of sales for Thomson International’s conventional watermelon program for almost 20 years, and along with his daughter Annie, marketed and sold watermelons for several growers in Mexico, California, Oregon and Washington. He also worked alongside his wife, Elaine, and youngest daughter, Nancy, who handle accounting for Thomson International.

Thomson was also president of the Kern County Farm Bureau 1979-1981, served as chairman of the Outstanding Farmers of America and received the 2017 California Leopold Conservation Award for land stewardship and conservation efforts.